Thursday, December 23, 2004

The end of 2004, the emergence of a mobile future, operators need to collaborate?

Over the last year there have been some really exciting developments in the mobile industry - each and every day I have seen more and more evidence of the foundations of what the future of mobile is going to look like. The buzz words are location, blogging, podcasting, presence, video, pictures and context. Start-ups have begun exploring these niche areas and are developing services to connect mobile users together according to their interests, tastes, location, music. Few however, appear to have connected the different media together in to a comprehensive mobile experience. Its early days though, and perhaps plans for 2005 and beyond address this. It comes as no surprise that these developments are happening outside of the operators’ product development teams. They're happening in small start-up companies based in Calfornia and Israel.
Operator collaboration:
A key success factor for these kinds of mobile experiences is that they function across operators that they interconnect with multiple networks. You can’t leverage the "network effect" unless you have access to all customers on all networks. This may prove hard for some operators to swallow, and a mind-shift may need to take place before these kinds of mobile data services take off. The operators have traditionally developed, launched or endorsed data products which are exclusive and wihtin the "walled gardens" of their own networks. For example, many operators spent millions developing proprietary IM services. It took a while before they realised that a proprietary IM network goes against the whole principles of a networked application. For IM to fly, you need interconnection with existing IM services such as MSN, ICQ etc. Other examples are Chat, Email and Calendars. The mind-set is still unfortunately commonplace.
Operator bypass?
Mobile operators need to collaborate more to drive data usage and increase revenues. The success of the Internet was mainly down to the fact that it was a network of hardware and software that talked a common language - this fosters an innovative environment where external parties can develop new products and services which are accessible by all.
Clearly, there are a different set of considerations for the mobile operator, however, they must start to at least investigate and understand the new possibilities of cross-operator collaboration. They have been doing it for years with roaming; SMS, MMS etc - and these are the services that account for the lion’s share of revenues.
Some start-ups have sensibly decided to bypass the operators. I've seen beta ready messaging clients that incorporate IM, PTT, Email, Content and Address books, in to a single application. You download it via the web, and you effectively have messaging capabilities for the price of a few Mbs of GPRS traffic each month. This should be giving operators the heebie-jeebies but most are still focused on defending margin and protecting market share. I suspect that the MVNO's will be the first to embrace new business models and these emerging data services. A few years from now we will see a very different landscape. This is why it is such an exciting time to be in the mobile industry - the boundaries, business models and value-chains are changing. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I can witness this change and participate in it. Bring on 2005!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Crunkie - Geo-location blogging

Wavemarket are involved in this example of geo-location blogging

Saturday, December 11, 2004


This company is doing some realy smart stuff on music intelligence. the principe is similar to the Amazon feature that tells you what other books people bought but it is so much cleverer. MusicGenome has a shed load of IPR relating to music algorithms and the mathematical structure of music. they are working on a mobile app (symbian/smartphone/java) that will ask you if you like a couple of music samples and based on your response, it can suggest (with staggering accuracy) other pieces you may like. You can then download, buy, listen etc. I tried a demo and was loving it.
Presumably the same science is equally applicable to other content (ringtones, films, games etc)
(Apple would love to get their hands on this for the next generation of "intelligent" iPods)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Good article in The Feature about phones n fashion

Will the telephone's transition from appliance to fashion accessory change the ways we think of ourselves and interact with each other? Link here

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Skype spam

A weird thing happened this week - i got two unwanted calls on Skype from random characters. im not sure what they wanted, maybe it was user error but i hope this doesnt continue to happen cos it could realy damage the Skype experience...

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Saturday, October 09, 2004


This is a very cool, new, emerging and exciting technology - a bit like a TiVo for your more here. Its another example of how end users are becoming content creators and distributors.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Any ideas on whats going on in the mhealth space? ive seen a couple of demos of how we can use mobile technologies to connect ourselves to other people for training purposes, arranging "workouts" etc, but none of these seem appropriate for the mass-market, and most of them require a very complex combination of GPS, PDa's and Bluetooth mobile. We need something dead simple, something like a pedometer that sends you a daily SMS, or a heart-rate monitor that gives you a daily/weekly summary....any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

YellowArrow Launched

This is antoher example of Geo-location blogging (kind of). It has an artisic spin to it, and demonstrates the interest that humans have in places, locations and objects.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Friday, August 20, 2004


This is a shocking report, and one that should make us all consider the envorinmental impacts of our fascination with technology...

Friday, July 23, 2004

Theres a whole new gaggle of start-ups that are designed to leverage the power (and stickyness) of personal networks; Plaxo, Midentity, LinkedIn, Friendster etc. They work by connecting you to your friends, their friends and their friends friends friends (or contacts). They all attempt to harness the theory behind the six degress of seperation. Now a few years ago, some clever people came up with the idea of instant messaging and MSN, Yahoo, AOL (ICQ) all quickly pushed different IM clients at the internet community. The hassle has always been that everyone has different clients, and some people have ended up having multiple clients to talk to different groups of friends. Wouldnt it be nice if these new personal network start-ups could all sit around a table and agree NOW on a standard for interoperability. Im sure that this suggestion would blow their business models - but come on, spare a thought for the user!

P.S Have just flicked over from a plain HTML "blog" to Blogger - it's making my life sooo mcuh easier! Do it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Fizzy Fruit

These guys have patented a rather clever way of making fruit fizzy...coming to a vending maching near you soon.

Thursday, July 15, 2004


OK - so youve been staring at the PC for a 8 hours, its only 2pm, and you know youve got another 4 hours of meetings in half an hours time. you were in the office until midnight last night and you're now physically exhausted. Time for a powernap me thinks....and where better than in a Metronap pod?

"Founded in 2003 and researched and tested at Carnegie Mellon University.

Monday, July 12, 2004


Blinkx ( is the new "google", claimed the Sunday Times yesterday. Blinkx connects the information you need from the web, from online news sources and files on your own PC to create your own personal web to search from. The concept is smart, but the barriers to entry for someone like google are minimal. The business model has not been communicated but is likely to center around targted ads and content suggestion.

The idea, team and execution appear to be smart, but the name and logo are appaling. Ive already mistyped the word several times this morning! and the logo looks like the by-product of an office party fumble between Ebay and Mr Potato Head I've got a domain on hold that I think is right up their street so might give them a bell ;-)

Om Malik on Blinkx

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Yahoo eats Oddpost

Well - it s quite a momentus day today - Oddpost (my email provider) has been acquired by Yahoo. Yahoo is the second largest provider of personal email accounts behind Hotmail. This particular space has gotten a little hot under the collar recently following Google's announcement that it would provide 1Gb storage for free to Gmail users. The oddpost acquisition comes as no surpise as these companies are looking for differentiation. Both Yahoo and Hotmail have increased storage space, but whats needed is a radical shift, something that will cut through Googles noise and get users chattering about yahoo again. So Yahoo have done it through Oddpost. Oddpost renders what appears to be something similar to Outlook express in Dynamic HTML - so its effectively outlook in a web browser. Its a fantastic customer experience which will create a lot waves when the Yahoo product relaunches soon. I wont be surprised if they create an entire application suite (calendar, to-do, address-book, groups etc) in a similar way. press release here

Thursday, June 17, 2004

This blog...

I've been dabbling with this blog for 6 months now and im still not quite sure what i should be doing on it. Part of me wants to open up my innermost feelings and express them to the world. But thats not very "english" and im far too reserved for all that. Most of my posts are about the industry i work in and what I see developing and changing around me. Im much more comfortable writing about this, partly because its what I know, and partly because a lot of other people do a similar thing. maybe its good old "sheep" mentality?
the blogs I like discovering are the ones that I wish i had the guts to write myself - the ones that describe emotion, discovery, wonderment and real human issues.

P.S Its my brithday today!

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Hot or not founders now moblogging

The chaps that created are behinfd this new moblogging site. its quite crude at the moment but it works.
While on this subject, i saw a great mobile version of hotornot the other day...its a very popular WAP destination!

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Good article in the Feature about photographs and memories

I like the concept of "disposable content" and this article suggests that people approach photography in a different way now as a result of new technology.
It makes me wonder whether our traditional understanding of content will change as a result of the mobile phones that we all carry now. Perhaps the traditional bastions of content and mdeia production will disappear and end-users will become mini-media-barons. Blogging is early evidence of this shift.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Intelligent Environments

I love the idea of intelligent environments, but i think there is an enormous challenge ahead in making the experience and proposition digestable for the average consumer.

Monday, March 08, 2004


Splashpower Ltd. provides revolutionary wireless power transfer solutions to the mobile and portable electronics industry. Splashpower technology enables a wide range of portable electronic devices to be powered wirelessly from a single platform.

Splashpower is dedicated to promoting wireless power as the de-facto standard for powering next generation mobile devices with the ultimate mission of delivering unparalleled convenience and true mobility to the consumer.

Splashpower is a privately held company based in Cambridge, UK

Friday, February 27, 2004

Moblogging sprouts

There has been a number of new moblogging start-ups appearing in the US and Europe. In the US, I have noticed Textamerica and Buzznet. In Europe, there's Ploggle and MoblogUK. My friend Alan at has already got a very large number (100's of 000's) of active subscribers. Could this be the new killer mobile application? possibly - although I think the services need to be even simpler to entice the mass-market. I suspect current growth is satisfied through "early-adopters", and that securing larger audiences will need simpler submission mechanisms, such as device apps that auto-send pictures/video to the blog and/or sending pictures to a MSISDN.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Wireless Innovation Centre

The Hillington Park Innovation Centre has just launched a new wireless innovation centre. "The centre works with two types of companies: those developing new technologies and applications and those wishing to transfer current applications or technology to the wireless environment
The centre assists by reducing the cost of developing the skills and knowledge needed to develop products and reducing the cost of the infrastructure to develop and demonstrate products. It also assists with the necessary interactions with suppliers, customers and intermediaries who control market access ".